Capitals' final report cards: Julien Brouillette

Capitals' final report cards: Julien Brouillette
April 24, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Washington Capitals defenseman Julien Brouillette (59) smiles as he skates off the ice after scoring his first career goal.

(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Julien Brouillette

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Age: 27 [turns 28 Dec. 5]

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 185

Games: 10

Goals: 1

Assists: 1

Points: 2

Penalty minutes: 0

Plus-Minus: Plus-3

Average Ice Time: 15:33

Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent [$550,000 cap hit in 2013-14]

[RELATED Nicklas Backstrom final report card] 

Strengths: After six years years of toiling for seven different teams in the ECHL and AHL Brouillette stepped into the Caps’ lineup for an injured Mike Green just before the Olympic break. He recorded an assist in his NHL debut and scored his first NHL goal two nights later. A no-frills defenseman who makes smart decisions in his own end, Brouillete returned to play the final eight games for the Caps.  

Weaknesses: Brouillette lacks a great deal of creativity in the offensive end but he makes solid decisions in his own end and plays bigger than his body suggests.

Memorable Moment: When Brouillette was called up by the Capitals on Feb. 4, he phoned his parents, Alain and Lucy, who raise poultry in St-Esprit, Quebec. But before they could see their son play his first NHL game, the Bouillettes had to load 20,0000 chickens for shipment. They stayed up all night, then drive 10 hours to Washington, where they arrived for the start of the third period between the Caps and Winnipeg Jets, just in time to see their son record his first NHL assists. Two nights later a more rested Alain and Lucy Brouillette saw their son score his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils.

Quotable: “It’s awesome they were here,” Brouillete said of his French-speaking parents witnessing his first NHL goal. “Hockey is a universal language.”

2014-15 Expectations: It will be interesting to see if the Caps re-sign Brouillette, who proved in 10 NHL games than he can be a solid minor-league call-up.